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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  PBS  April 9, 2011 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT

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>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: >> this week on "to the contrary:" up first, white americans will soon be the minority. then, a supreme court challenge to roe v. wade. behind the headlines, matriarch of the conservative movement phyllis schlafly talks about the flipside of feminism.
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>> hello, i'm bonnie erbe. welcome to "to the contrary," a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, majority minority. white american children will soon be in the minority even sooner than expected. this according to a new report finding the reveal from majority to minority status could happen by the year 2019. white children now comprise fewer than half of american three-year-olds and are in the minority in nursery schools, preschools and kindergartens in eight states and the district of columbia. according to new census data, whites and blacks are having
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fewer children but multiracial, asian, and hispanic americans are having more children. these demographic changes are transforming many cities, making them more multiethnic. more than half the country's 100 largest cities would have seen a significant population decline without an influx of hispanic and asian residents. some sociologists say the country's population shift will have a major impact on society, culture, and government funding in health, education, and welfare. kong depress woman norton, what will the biggest change from this demographic evolution be? >> well, bonnie, culture always leads. but not to worry. government spending never catches up. >> immigrants come to america to experience the american dream and that's freedom and rewards that come from personal responsibility as long as we can retain the american dream, then
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the changes will feel is more creative ways of experiencing it. >> i think that's a challenge, obviously the changes will be social or cultural that's obvious. they driving economic and governmental changes that we're witnessing, i'm not sure. but definitely going to suffer the consequences. >> i think it could mean that america will have a better competitive edge and increasingly global community. >> when you say are those changes driving what's going on politically, what do you mean? >> what i mean is that the cuts that are being proposed now in the congress in terms of education programs, the safety net, health care and others they're not being driven by this new group. but they are going to be the ones that are be living in society where there is less of all of that in which education system is incredibly challenge the because there's not enough resources to give the people adequate education. >> they will suffer the consequence of it. but they're going to be living in it.
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>> and in terms of white americans, i wonder if this was the reason behind the tea party in some way feeling threaten the things are changing, they're obviously changing. >> the tea party has been very clear as to why you've gotten involved because of government over spending. when you look at the government is spending their money on, too often there's tremendous amount of waste. when you look at the education standards and the achievements from the past and fact that we are spending more money now on education programs and yet our kids have lower scores. clearly money does not mean -- spending more money doesn't mean that we're going to have a -- kids have better educational scores. so perhaps with the spending cuts which are absolutely necessary, it has nothing to do with the demographic it's because our politicians have been spending money that we don't even have, it's the spending our children and grandchildren's money, those cuts could end up resulting in
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coming up with more creative ways of providing for the needs in society rath he than depending on government. that we as community step step up. >> let's face it. this is basically a hispanic story. of course an asian story as well. this is country going to look real different, going to be multi-colored. in fact come already with some mixed heritage. then they go mix. you get that mixture together you won't be able to tell who is who. very important points to be made here, the great american story has been new groups, usually of a different ethnic background or religious background coming. they came for the same reason hispanics came to -- very different economy when the irish and italians and pols and jews came it was economy was looking for people who could do
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something with a strong back. now, unless we educate these hispanic, these latino children it's not that they will be doing their own family's harm, that's clear. they will be doing the entire country harm. you better find some way to quickly bring these young people, they are the majority of young people now quickly becoming in to the educational system and particularly the higher educational system or the whole country is going to sit back very, very quickly. and cuts are certainly not the answer. >> i think it's also benefit to our foreign policy. the world is changing, having a different face to our foreign policy is really important and can go a long way. >> different face, how? >> think about the foreign service. the foreign service is majority white male. when you send all of your emissaries around the world to
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asia, south america, all around, africa, you see the same face. how different might it be if you saw the same principles and same values coming from someone of a different face not a white male. that will change how people perceive america and our intention and changes relationships which we have to care more and more about going forward. >> how is it going to change culture? you mentioned culture before and i tend to think, i don't know if these two are related or not, most people would obviously say, no. but let me just pose the question, demographically we've changed an awful lot in the last 20 years and a lot of people would say, not for the better. that american culture is, a, more commercial, more selfish, more about me, me, me. and trashier than it was three, four decades ago. is that related to the demographic change? >> no. because these are not the ones controlling the media.
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when you look at the movies and look at television one of the things that is very striking, you know, looking at the demographic changes and look at television and look at many of the television programs that's not what you see reflected. i love your point, that's biggest challenge that we have that this is who we are at the country but not who the leading classes are not who the corporate leaders are. these are the people that are in the television show. >> 20 years ago you had "the cosby show" you don't have a similar show depicting black americans or hispanics in that way. that's sad. you see a lot of other kinds of shows that are more reminiscent of 50 years -- >> that was another quality show that just like, i don't know, snooki versus cosby who is going to choose her over him, nobody with half a brain. but on the other hand you put "the cosby show" back on tv nobody would watch it. l values have changed. >> the larger population. that has very little to do with
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the -- latinos have lot to do with the plaques since their numbers are going down. it does have to do with the media and the producers looking for the lowest common denominator to-flame. when you do that and people are willing to buy it you change the entire culture. >> how is it changing being an african american woman in congress? how is it now versus when you first came? >> you see a third of the caucus now african american, the black caucus, african american women. blacks are following the same pattern as whites. how come the black population isn't going up? equality isn't here yet, but there is time and place their generational time and place they have been in this country long enough to know stop having children. people who come to this country always have the most children. usually they have been white so they mixed in and that was it. you didn't know who was who until you heard an irish last
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name, perhaps. then since -- and even they had to finally get accepted so that -- look at congress today, hispanics are going to have very much the same i think -- the same -- >> economics. >> i do. there can be so many of them they are also going to benefit from the fact that african americans have opened the way for people of color it's hard to begainst them simply because they're not white and if we can just get these hard working immigrants to know working hard and even the children work hard isn't enough in the economy, you got to graduate from high school and you got to go to college. if you just do that and spend the time, some fun, but the time and whatever it takes the country is going to be fine. >> from diversity to discord as congress worked on last minute budget negotiations,
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women's groups rallied outside the capitol this week to protest what they call extreme proposals targeting women's healthcare. led by planned parenthood and naral pro-choice america, protesters at the stand up for women's health rally blasted pro-life house republicans who want to end private insurance coverage for abortions as well as government support for family planning. meanwhile more than 30 states are considering bills to restrict abortion rights. just this week idaho's legislature passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. if more of these bills become law, legal experts say roe v. wade could be challenged at the supreme court. the pro-life movement gained widespread support in last november's congressional and state elections. and patricia sosa when voters went to the polls last november really wanted more of a focus on jobs and the economy, did they
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think that a republican majority in one chamber of congress would create a last-minute government shut down war over planned parenthood? >> absolutely not. i am convinced that this is snot what american public wants and again i don't think american public would like to see the government shut down because of planned parenthood and funding for planned parenthood which by the way the majority only 4% of their funding goes for anything related to abortion and privately funded not with government funding. the majority of services are just basic healthcare services for women and for reproductive-related issues. so absolutely not. i think this is a travesty that the nservative republicans are imposing in this country. >> one-third of the revenue for planned parenthood comes from abortion not 4% spent on it. planned parenthood touted itself as the abortion provider. in saying that they provide more abortions than any other
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provider does. now, we need to recognize that it's not the -- >> is that holding up the whole government? >> that's what i'm answering. it's not -- let's look who is holding it up. the democrats in the senate and president who said that they will not -- they have not even put auet on the table, they're the ones that are holding up. they're the ones who clearly intended from the beginning to shut down the government then cast the blame on republicans. remember who put us in this place, who got us here in the first place. it's the massive over pending by these irresponsible government officials. somebody has to stand up and say no more. certainly the majority of americans as we -- >> but don't -- >> let's go back to what percentage of the budget we're talking about, let's go back to whether -- i'm sitting at home in midland america and i really want congress to create a job for my sister, my husband,
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whatever who is out of work right now. i have a cousin who works for the government now because she's going to lose her paycheck because of this. do you think they care enough abut abortion to want this fight to end over that? >> let's remember it's not the row republicans saying we're going to shut down the government it is the -- >> i am there, if we want to have debate about shutting down the government we can do that. that wasn't her question. it ought to be clear, i really don't think it's bad to shift the entire debate between her and me. but let's answer your question. obviously, for example, you said a third of their revenue, that's your way of hiding the fact that they don't get -- that the government doesn't pay for that. the government does not pay for that. certain amount of money -- >> one at a time, please. >> people pay little money to get an abortion. let's understand what is
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happening here. you had a wave of are republican governors, the tea party did it to the state the way they did it to the congress. and the same thing is happening in the states that are happening in the congress. these people are playing to a narrow slice of the american public. in wisconsin the result is that they're about to recall a whole bunch of them who have been in office for three months. for abortion, yes, the social conservatives have climbed on to the back of the low spending conservative. so both pushing their agendas now. we in the congress say keep it up. they have already lost the independence. they were responsible for the fact that they took over the house, they're quickly shoving everybody back to president obama who is now having almost a free ride on his way back to a second term.
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>> i would say, she's right. we are losing as republicans lot of people and get wrapped around this issue. i've said it before, roe v. wade has been the law of the land my entire life. my entire life. i'm more concerned about having children. it's the law of the lapped. i don't think we need to get -- planned parenthood does do some good work. it is sometimes the only care that some women can get in some areas. when you're cut poor, you are coming out of college where you don't have anywhere else to go. that's just a fact. the thing is, is we can't get ourselves wrapped around these little issues, we have good issues, we have fiscally responsible. we get wrapped around these marginal issues and we lose everyone. >> all right. final thoughts? i think more people are now pro life than they used to be 30 years ago they understand how damaging abortion is for women and it kills unborn children.
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>> because you have to -- >> we don't want the -- >> let her finish. >> don't want their tax dollars. women are able to get health care services in variety of ways. they're not dependent on planned parenthood. >> last word. >> the choice movement has been relentless they have use lies and manipulation. you know when you work hard and grass roots do go very far. behind the headlines: the flipside of feminism. matriarch of the conservative movement, phyllis schlafly, is back with a new book. in it, she examines the role feminism played over the last four decades. her conclusion? tomorrow l feminism made women less happy. >> "the flipside of feminism" shows the other side of feminism people never hear from the media or in high school and college. feminism teaches young women to think they are victims of an oppressive patriarch. that is so unfortunate. american women are the most fortunate class of people who
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ever lived on the face of the earth. >> in the last 40 years, women have entered the workforce in greater numbers and made strides in education with women now outnumbering men on liberal arts college campuses. women's involvement in politics increased with hillary clinton becoming the first woman to win state primaries in a presidential race. but schlafly, who teamed up with her niece, suzanne venker, to write the book, says those achievements are not due to feminism. >> i worked my way though college at a great university and got my degree in 1944 - that was long before the feminism movement got started. i got my masters from harvard no discrimination against women. none whatsoever. my mother got her college degree in 1920, what's the problem? >> the real reason that women have the lives they ha today has to do with technology, and the men behind the technology.
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it is men who provided america, primarily men, who have provided america with the technology that have freed women up to do things outside the home. the textile industry did far more than women than the feminist movement ever did. >> instead of liberating women, shlafly and venker say the women's rights movement destroyed the institution of marriage, hurt children, and created a matriarchy. they break the current feminist movement into two groups: fringe and elite. >> fringe feminists are women like jessica valenti, and jennifer baumgardner, and amy richards. and they represent third wave feminist movement, which is basically just modern day or current feminist movement. and we call them fringe because their politics are so left of center that the vast majority of women we believe in america will not identify with their platform.
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the elite feminists we say are ultimately more powerful than the tripping and you see them in every day scenarios whether it be on your morning news programs, or movies, or your tv sets, you are familiar with those people. they are not trying to pull the wool over america's eyes, they don't even think there is any other way of looking at the world but their way, and that what makes it bad. not even aware they're doing it. it's an arrogance that just sort of belies common sense. it's nortena they're purposely plotting it's just they're going about their business living in their bubble and assuming that the american viewer who is listening thinks the way they do. but there's a chasm there, because most of us don't think the way that they do. >> a 2009 study by the national bureau of economics found women today are less happy than they were 35 years ago despite their gains. schlafly and venker say this is
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proof feminism failed. >> the fact is they wanted to be liberated from home, husband, family, and children. in fact they looked upon society's expectation that mothers care for their own babies as an example of patriarchal oppression so they try to get the government to provide tax payer funded daycare centers. that does not produce a happy life. yes, women can have it all, if they schedule it at different times in their lives. they need to allot time to take care of their babies when they are young. then of cose as the children grow older and get through school, women can go and take up a different career. we live long lives these days. is she right that feminism has made women unhappy? >> i think her book does really good job of addressing the myths that seeped so deeply in our
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culture that to even address them is -- you're belittled for bringing them up. she makes an excellent points of how women were accomplishing quite ait before the second wave of feminism came on. >> i wish phyllis would tell me something she hadn't telling me the last 30 years. this was phillip at the beginning of the feminist movement. i do think this, that in the transition women had carried a heavy burden. for example, there is no child care in this country, we applaud all these women going to work. it's tough, because equality syndrome hasn't caught up with women and their abilities and -- they're not saying, this is fine what they're not doing enough of is pressing our own society to at least catch up with your opinion so that they're not
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paying the price for the expanding the american economy. >> absolutely. i think they're comparing apples and oranges. that there is economic changes that they mandate for women, that's one thing and feminist movement was always social movement to create laws to foster laws that will allow women equal opportunity. by the way, yes, we may be more unhappy because we live more complex lives. of course when you're in the workplace irrelevant not going to have the same level of comfort just at home lays your kids. >> the post feminist era i think it's true that we're more unhappy. i still want children -- >> what makes you say that? when you think about the beginning -- bet fee freedan what did she call it in the feminine mystique. she talked about this sadness, this sickness, this depression that was encompassing suburban,
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middle class women back in the '50s and '60s. they were sad back then. >> maybe women are just sad. but there's also a lot of urban women who are single, 30-somethings without prospects who are something very sad. >> what does that have to do with feminism? >> because with achievement, i'm not -- achievement is great but there is a correlation between a woman's ability to achieve and the number of suitors or number of manana she has access to. washington d.c. is perfect example of a lot of women who are very accomplished but very single. and i think to some -- >> wait a second. you as a highly accomplished, you work for the u.s. senate, you work for the "wall street journal" in asia, if you stayed home did none of that, didn't get your graduate degree or anything like that, would you be married and have kids by now? is that a replacement? >> here is the thing. i didn't do those things. i just think i didn't know when i was making all of my decisions that i probably made it a lot
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harder to be married and have children. i think that's the little -- >> want more out of life and more out of men. you deserve everything. you deserve to be successful and find your man. we need to have a conversation because i don't think success is a barrier for you finding the right man. >> i have struggled -- >> who are clerks for the supreme court who would say, maybe it was different. maybe it was different for us. >> all right. that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." what a sad note to end on. next week: fitness expert jillian michaels' on being physically and mentally fit. please join us on the web for "to the contrary extra." whether your views are in agreement or to the contrary, please join us next time.
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